July 17, 2024
Ten Hag gets tough with Forson, Bruno’s a touchline terrier… but you have to feel for Harry Maguire: FIVE THINGS WE LEARNED from Man Utd’s 3-2 defeat to Borussia Dortmund

Ten Hag gets tough with Forson, Bruno’s a touchline terrier… but you have to feel for Harry Maguire: FIVE THINGS WE LEARNED from Man Utd’s 3-2 defeat to Borussia Dortmund

Ten Hag gets tough with Forson, Bruno’s a touchline terrier… but you have to feel for Harry Maguire: FIVE THINGS WE LEARNED from Man Utd’s 3-2 defeat to Borussia Dortmund

Manchester United were beaten 3-2 by Borussia Dortmund in Las Vegas on Sunday night but there were some valuable lessons for manager Erik ten Hag.

Diogo Dalot gave United the lead with a great strike from distance in the first half but a quickfire double from Donyell Malen gave Dortmud the lead at half-time.

Antony got the scores level shortly after the interval but Youssoufa Moukoko’s 71st minute strike proved to be decisive.

But Mail Sport’s CHRIS WHEELER was on hand with the talking points from the game… 

Manchester United lost to Borussia Dortmund but there were useful lessons for Erik ten Hag

TOUGH TEN HAG 

Erik ten Hag didn’t hesitate to hook teenager Omari Forson and replace him with Antony shortly before half-time in United’s 3-2 defeat to Borussia Dortmund at the Allegiant Stadium after the young winger became embroiled in a running battle with Julian Ryerson.

It began with Forson kicking out at Ryerson for blocking him off, and then going head to head with Karim Adeyemi in the aftermath which led to both players being booked. But Forson continued his spat with Ryerson afterwards and Ten Hag felt compelled to intervene.

Antony was expected to come on at half-time but Ten Hag ordered the Brazilian to warm up immediately and sent him on shortly afterwards. 

Forson looked crestfallen to be taken off and was consoled by Scott McTominay and Christian Eriksen as he trudged towards the touchline but Ten Hag was a little less sympathetic, wagging his finger at the player as he gave him a stern lecture.

The switch seemed to pay off when Antony seized on Hummels’ error to equalise in the 52nd minute, but he missed another glorious chance to fire United level late on.

The United boss was tough on Omari Forson, who was taken off before half-time in Las Vegas

The United boss was tough on Omari Forson, who was taken off before half-time in Las Vegas 

BRUNO THE TOUCHLINE TERRIER 

Bruno Fernandes wasn’t even on the pitch in the first half, but the United captain still couldn’t help getting in the ear of the match officials as the Forson-Ryerson feud heated up.

Fernandes stormed off the bench to remonstrate with the fourth official, clearly unhappy that the Dortmund defender was niggling Forson.

Fernandes came on with a number of other United first-choice players on the hour mark and reclaimed the captain’s armband, but it was interesting that Scott McTominay wore it until then.

McTominay’s future at Old Trafford has been in some doubt but United certainly aren’t forcing him out. Indeed, the Scotland midfielder seems more likely to stay after Kobbie Mainoo was ruled out of the start of the season due to an ankle injury, with Fred and Donny van de Beek both expected to leave this summer.

Bruno Fernandes was his usual energetic self - even in the first half when he wasn't playing

Bruno Fernandes was his usual energetic self – even in the first half when he wasn’t playing

SYMPATHY FOR MAGUIRE

You have to feel for Harry Maguire. Stripped of the captaincy by manager Erik ten Hag, he was overlooked for the role in favour of McTominay when Fernandes wasn’t in the starting line-up in Las Vegas. 

Then there were the usual minority of idiots heckling the England defender when he attempted an early pass.

It was notable that Maguire was replaced by veteran Jonny Evans – signed on a short-term contract to cover pre-season – when Ten Hag strengthened his team on the hour mark. Could Evans get a longer-term deal to replace Maguire if he leaves Old Trafford this summer, or even move ahead of him in the pecking order if he stays?

Maguire is determined to knuckle down and fight for his future at United despite the setbacks, and you have to admire the man for that. But if Ten Hag really does value him, maybe he has to show it a little better.

Harry Maguire was overlooked as captain even when Bruno Fernandes wasn't on the field

Harry Maguire was overlooked as captain even when Bruno Fernandes wasn’t on the field 

ONANA ADJUSTING 

Andre Onana’s £47.1million signing will change the way United play out from the back this season, but there were a few teething problems in Las Vegas as Ten Hag’s side conceded twice in the space of 18 seconds before half-time.

No sooner had Donyell Malen volleyed Dortmund level than Onana’s No.2 Tom Heaton played a risky pass to Victor Lindelof on the edge of the box. Lindelof attempted an equally perilous pass to Donny van de Beek which was cut out by former United man Marcel Sabitzer. 

Brandon Williams was playing Malen onside when he received the ball from Sabitzer and slotted past Heaton for the second time in quick succession.

Heaton blamed Williams who responded furiously, shouting: ‘My fault? It was your f***-up!’

Onana replaced Heaton at half-time but there was more discord among the United defence within five minutes of the restart when the Cameroonian saved from Sebastian Haller following a mix-up between Maguire and McTominay, and sprang to his feet to berate Maguire.

The defensive issues continued after Ten Hag made numerous changes and Aaron Wan-Bissaka gave the wall away in the build-up to Youssoufa Moukoko’s winner.

United are still adjusting to new goalkeeper Andre Onana - a recent Red Devils signing

United are still adjusting to new goalkeeper Andre Onana – a recent Red Devils signing 

Jadon Sancho produced some impressive signs against his old team in a False 9 position

Jadon Sancho produced some impressive signs against his old team in a False 9 position 

SANCHO A FALSE NINE 

Jadon Sancho has hardly prospered since making a £73m move from Borussia Dortmund to United two years ago, but he looked lively as a false nine against his old club at the Allegiant Stadium.

Sancho has been playing through the middle on tour in the absence of Antony Martial and with United still trying to tie up a deal for Atalanta striker Rasmus Hojlund.

His pace caused Dortmund problems here as he harassed their back-four and provided some neat link-up play to put Facundo Pellistri in behind on a couple of occasions. There was also a sublime turn just before half-time that left the rather cumbersome Humells chasing shadows.

Pellistri, too, was a bundle of energy on United’s tight flank and drew a yellow card from Hummels for a clumsy challenge. The young Uruguayan deserved his pat on the head from Ten Hag when he was replaced in the second period.

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